SHORT STORY: A Crooked Path!

It was a day of her dreams; a day that had only existed in the precarious part of her imagination. As Chikwendu moved up the podium, the crowd was thrown into the seventh heaven. The ovation was a stuff of fantasy. Men and women cheered, and even the entire hall knew it was hosting its finest moment.

Chikwendu was graduating from the famous University of Ibadan as not just the finest product of her dispensation, but as the best since inception of the citadel. Such feat is never a routine, and thus, was not going to be treated with kid gloves. Her face glowed in sheer ecstasy as she made her way to the front of the hall. Students, friends and well-wishers all gathered offered their hands as she moved through the isle. You will mistake her for a Serena Williams or a Beyonce Knowles. That moment had a “celebritique” vibe about it. Her face was radiant, her smile was profound, and her step was majestic. There was something worldly about her dress that almost betrayed her academic sublimity. Short and skimpy; you will assume it was tailored for models. However, her recent achievement was nothing short of a model for all.

Chikwendu was the first child in a family of eight. Though fertility have been prodigal to her parents, fortune have not been so kind. Chikwendu lost her father at the tender age of four. He was a victim of the notorious Lagos mob. Chikwendu’s father lost his life on a faithful Sunday morning when he was caught stealing some food items from a local shop. Poverty had driven him to such extremes, but the waiting mob that pounced on him was not interested in such fairy tales. Life without her father and other seven siblings to look after was both difficult for Chikwendu and her mother. Yet, in defiance, she fought her way through school, and today, she was graduating as the best student in the history of the University. Her mother’s joy knew no bounds. It was difficult for her fighting back the tears. It was tears formed in decades of toiling and suffering.

The eulogies poured in their torrents for Chikwendu. Indeed, success had many relatives. It was a day Chikwendu and her family believed will end the many years of penury. Such hopes generally came with graduation of this caliber.


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